The information technology industry is one of the fastest-growing, in-demand industries you can be a part of. With the quick advancement of technology, there will always be opportunities for work and financial growth in tech fields like software engineering.
Software engineers have many roles and functions within different industries, and there are always jobs available. In this article, you will learn about the different types of software engineering jobs, what software engineering professionals do, and how much they earn.
What Is Software Engineering?
Software engineering is a branch of engineering that deals with software design, development, implementation, and maintenance. It involves analyzing user needs, developing and producing software applications to meet those needs, and testing to ensure it is working.
What Do Software Engineering Professionals Do?
A software engineer develops computer programs and operating systems using engineering principles and techniques. Programming and coding languages help software engineers to convert their thoughts and ideas to an operational and functional command that the computer can follow. Listed below are some of their tasks.
- Use programming languages. Software engineers use programming languages to develop fully functioning, and operational computer commands for implementation into software systems.
- Identify issues within systems. They locate problems, issues, and bugs within computer systems and amend these issues to improve the computer system quality.
- Define user needs. Another software engineering task is analyzing a user’s needs and demands to improve their user experience and developing a software application that meets those needs.
- Researching and presenting. They must investigate any improvements they could be making and then present their improvement plan to their company, detailing how they can enhance the existing software and protect it from cyber attacks.
- Collaboration with other divisions. Software engineers collaborate with programmers, system analysts, and other engineers to determine a project’s needs and goals and develop a course of action.
How Much Do Software Engineers Make?
Several factors affect a software engineer’s salary, including experience, education, and location. For example, the average software engineer earns $88,280. Regarding location, the annual salary for software engineers in San Francisco, California, is $124,594, which is 41.1 percent higher than the national average.
Software Engineers’ Average Salaries
According to PayScale, the average salary of an entry-level software engineer is $77,482. An early career software engineer earns $85,823, while a mid-career software engineer earns $97,355. Further, software engineers with 10 to 19 years of experience earn $107,548, and senior software engineers with more than 20 years of experience have an annual wage of $116,079.
What Is the Job Growth for Software Engineers?
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the job growth rate for software engineers will be 22 percent between 2020 and 2030, way above the national average growth rate for other industry professionals. Almost all growing industries and businesses have computer and technology jobs, which adds to the ever-increasing market need for software engineers.
The Highest-Paying Types of Software Engineering Jobs in 2022
- Systems Software Developer | $138,141
- Backend Engineer | $126,880
- DevOps Engineer | $126,245
- Front End Engineer | $125,501
- Mobile Application Developer | $120,068
- Backend Developer | $114,654
- Security Engineer | $111,691
- Full Stack Engineer | $110,091
- Software Developer | $107,510
- Software Application Developer | $92,732
Software engineering is one of the most financially rewarding fields, but at the same time, it is an extensive field with different roles and job titles based on the engineering functions in a team. Read on below to learn more about the highest-paying types of software engineering jobs.
Systems Software Developer
- Average Salary: $138,141
Systems software developers vs engineers research, plan, develop, and test operating systems, network software, and computing applications. They analyze, design, and calculate the software requirements, and set the operational specifications while applying the principles and techniques of computer science, engineering, and mathematical analysis.
- Average Salary: $126,880
This type of software engineer specializes in developing systems, application performance, design, implementation, and management of the core databases. To ensure the user interface works smoothly, they use application programming interfaces (APIs) to integrate data and logging systems, caching systems, and other computer network systems.
- Average Salary: $126,245
Development and operations engineers, commonly known as DevOps engineers, develop, improve, and maintain systems to build, distribute, integrate, and support backend software. They implement and manage the application infrastructure, database systems, and servers. Experience with Apache Mesos, HashiCorp stack, OneDrive, and AWS is highly desirable.
Front End Engineer
- Average Salary: $125,501
A front end engineer specializes in developing and optimizing the user interface (UI) using user experience (UX) design principles. UI includes visual features like layouts, format, and aesthetics.
Front end engineers use their analytical skills to fix bugs and provide a seamless visual display of the customer-facing web pages. This ensures compatibility with the different browsers, devices, applications software, and operating systems.
Mobile Application Developer
- Average Salary: $120,068
Mobile developers write code specifically for mobile devices applications. Mobile applications software development became popular in the early 2000s when the mobile and smart devices industry boomed. A mobile application developer should be skilled with mobile operating systems like iOS and Android, as well as Java, Swift, Objective-C, and APIs.
- Average Salary: $114,654
A backend developer’s specialty is designing and executing the operational logic of a system that’s inaccessible to the end-user. The backend of a website comprises a server, its applications, and a database. Backend developers design, build, and maintain these parts to enable the end-user side of a website to function.
- Average Salary: $111,691
A security engineer is a security specialist that creates systems, processes, and strategies to test and penetrate a software system’s security. They use the test results to improve the discovered security flaws. More commonly called white hat or ethical hackers, they try to infiltrate the security systems and access the database to uncover its vulnerabilities.
Full Stack Engineer
- Average Salary: $110,091
Full stack engineers, or full stack developers, work on the front end design process and backend database design. They can work by themselves to design, create, and develop a fully operational web application while also designing the end-user interface and the complex systems and databases that run it.
- Average Salary: $107,510
Software Application Developer
- Average Salary: $92,732
Applications software developers tackle the system’s design and the creation of specialized software application programs customized for various professions, industries, and government departments. They develop a model, diagram, and visual presentation to demonstrate the code required for the applications.
Software Engineering Career Path
Previously, the only way to successfully get into software engineering was to complete a computer science associate degree or a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field. Software professionals work for one to three years in an entry-level role before moving to more advanced projects and finally advancing to leadership roles.
Nowadays, getting a degree or other college coursework is not the only way to start your career. Below are some popular options to start your career in software engineering.
- Get the necessary education. Whether through obtaining a degree or through a software engineering bootcamp like Flatiron School, job seekers need to have the appropriate education to ensure their success. You can be self-taught and obtain a software engineering job without a degree; it is all about balance.
- Get the necessary experience. Having experience through internships, apprenticeships, or on-the-job training is highly valued among employers. Most employers place a high value on your relevant work experience.
- Start in an entry-level job. Apply for an entry-level software position. There are a lot of job openings for entry-level software professionals. You can easily land a job as long as you have the required skills and experience.
- Obtain the necessary education as you climb the ladder. As you climb the corporate ladder, your employer might request for you to pursue further education or certifications. Obtaining a master’s degree will be beneficial in advancing your career.
- Climb the ladder. As you continue to work and gain experience, you will find yourself climbing the corporate ladder. From entry-level, you may get promoted to a mid-level position, and from there, a senior-level position. If you don’t see movement within a company, it might be an opportunity to find a new, higher-level job.
Should You Become a Software Engineering Professional?
If you have the skills, education, and experience necessary for this career path, you should become a software engineering professional. It is a stable industry with healthy employment growth, providing you with various career opportunities. In addition, software engineers are some of the highest-paid professionals.
Types of Software Engineering Careers FAQ
It usually takes five to six years to become an entry-level software engineer. Four to five years go toward completing a degree in software engineering, and the remaining one to two years is for your internship, apprenticeship, or on-the-job training.
Software engineers need to be skilled in computer science, various coding languages, problem-solving, technical expertise, teamwork, and critical thinking to succeed in the software development process. Communication skills are also essential for leadership roles.
Software engineering is not difficult if you are a logical and analytical thinker and have mathematical skills. Coding and programming depend heavily on logic and mathematics.
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